Greater than 90% of all Alzheimer’s disease (AD) cases are sporadic, meaning there are few hereditary risk factors for developing the disease. Although certain genetic variants increase the risk of AD, age is the strongest known risk factor. Yet, understanding how the underlying molecular mechanisms of aging predispose individuals to AD has remained elusive. Now, a team of researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have discovered what they believe are changes to the normal epigenetic landscape that lead to the onset of Alzheimer’s.
Buildups of "clumpy" proteins in the brain are well-known hallmarks of Alzheimer's, but not everyone who has them goes on to develop this neurodegenerative disease. Why is that? New research investigates.
The future of researching ways to prevent AD should probably focus on people at risk for developing the disease, said researchers, and should highlight how to improve management of chronic health conditions and education about living healthier.
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